The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Atlas Air Worldwide, BMC Stock, Central Garden & Pet Company, Comfort Systems USA and DICK’S Sporting Goods

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 17, 2020 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. AAWW, BMC Stock Holdings, Inc. BMCH, Central Garden & Pet Company CENT, Comfort Systems USA, Inc. FIX and DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc. DKS.

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Wall Street Makes Record Recovery from Coronavirus: 5 Growth Picks

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, despite the recent turmoil, has almost recovered all losses suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. The blue-chip index bounced back from the bear market territory in March and is now near its all-time high achieved on Feb 12, 2020.

Similarly, the S&P 500 had plummeted more than 30% within six weeks this spring, marking its fastest descent from record levels into a bear market. But the broader index has been on an uptrend, recording the fifth successive month of rally in August in more than 80 years.

What’s more, the S&P 500’s journey from a record high in February to a bear market in March, and then again to a new record, only took 126 trading days this year, the fastest-ever climb. To put things into perspective, if we go back to 1928, it took the index 1,500 trading sessions to return to record levels after slipping into bear territory.

This year’s stock market rebound has been even more startling, since the year has been plagued by a pandemic that left millions of Americans unemployed, while corporate profits have seen the steepest collapse in a decade. So, what drove the historic rally? Primarily, stimulus from the Fed and the Congress helped the stock market scale north.

The Fed has kept interest rates at near-zero levels and has promised to keep it at that level even if inflation picks up. Fed’s initiative to lend billions across markets also buoyed investors. Moreover, as Fed bought corporate and Treasury bonds, yields tanked, making stocks more alluring.

At the same time, the U.S. government provided more than 150 million in stimulus checks to Americans and nearly half a trillion dollars in loans to small business houses. The encouraging response along with the lessons learned in the financial crisis of 2008 helped the stock market’s rebound.

And let’s admit, many investors still had faith that the U.S. economy will get its mojo back once the pandemic is under control. In fact, factory activity had accelerated in August, and hiring improved for the fourth straight month. Consumer outlays also picked up in August after a substantial drop. To top it, many analysts opine that the skid in corporate profits has likely bottomed, too. Leuthold Group, a research firm, added that many economists now expect annual GDP to improve next year at a rate not seen in the past 70 years.

Talking about individual performers, the tech behemoths in particular have

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Now It’s Not Safe at Home Either. Wildfires Bring Ashen Air Into the House.

SAN FRANCISCO — The new thing we do here when we get up in the morning, even before the tooth brushing and the coffee making, is to look at the sky. Then we look at the internet to see if our eyes deceive.

“Purple again,” I said to my wife this morning. Not the sky. That was the color of soot, like a child had taken dirty fingers and rubbed them all over the horizon. Purple is the color on the air quality chart. It means that we’ve hit “very unhealthy,” our air filled with microscopic particles that, speaking of children, are dangerous for them to breathe into their soft pink lungs. And not so great for those of us who have a few miles on our lungs already.

During the coronavirus pandemic, our last refuge had been to stay inside the house, but when things go this purple this persistently, the trouble seeps inside. Thanks to rampant wildfires, our at-home air filter has started telling us that things have turned unhealthy in our home — the bad air is managing to sneak in, even through closed windows and doors.

So we’ve taken to passing our one air purifier from room to room so our two children can do SOTG (school on the go) without getting SOOT (soot in the bloodstream). We clean each room, then rotate the device, and I trail to maintain the obnoxious optimism that is my hallmark and fatherly duty. But you can tell things are bad when you start reaching for comparisons, like: Well, we could be in Flanders in 1918. (Maybe that rose tint to my glasses is actually ash.)

In actuality, I don’t have to reach back to Belgium during World War I to know things could be worse. We could be in the Portland suburbs or lots of other places in the Pacific Northwest, circa right now. There, the ash in the sky comes with rampant blazes that are creating actual refugees, meaning people who are running from death with whatever they can carry.

So yes, we are privileged: roof over the head, freezer full of meat and crisper stocked with vegetables. My wife and I remain employed and no one we are close to has died from that terrible virus.

That said, I have had a migraine three days running from the poor air (or self-pity, or both). My wife is a neurologist who specializes in treating migraines, and she says that it’s supposed to help when you sit in darkness. But I can tell you that on Wednesday morning — when we woke up and looked at the sky and it was the orange-black of Halloween — the all-day darkness did little to calm the headache.

I’m a science reporter, and it’s hard not to see what’s happening now as a science story, with Covid-19 taking advantage of population density and other modern factors to hop and skip across the globe and from cough to nose and lung to lung,

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